2016 – 7th Grade National 2nd Place Winner

Nathan Song, California.

“Imagination or knowledge?

     If our world did not have imagination, humanity would not be in its stage of development as today. Our imagination is imperative to live freely and to make our world better. With imagination, we have harnessed the power of electricity and made transportation so that we could travel across the world in hours. But how could we have created such inventions that we had not considered impossible? The answer is simple: we imagined how the world could be with these tools. If we had not imagined the world as it could have been, we would still have the same tools and ideas as we had at the dawn of humanity. Because we could imagine and use our knowledge accordingly, we have created the world today. Even with the knowledge that is given to us, we would not be able to make our lives better unless we could envision how to use that knowledge.

     Envision a world with no inventions, advancement, or creativity. Even the ability to think of such a world requires imagination. Through our imagination, we have been able to grow, learn, and wonder. We were able to go into space and into the depths with what started as our imagination of what we might see. Our imagination has allowed us the fly, to develop, to govern, and to survive throughout history.

     Lasting through the years, we can see the imprints of imagination. One of the most memorable of these examples is the French Revolution. The working class envisioned a society where they could have an equal voice instead of being suppressed. Their imagination, fueled with the knowledge of many educated individuals (such as Robespierre), along with hope that revolution was possible (as shown by the American Revolution), allowed the revolution to become a reality. Imagining a harsh future spurs us to make changes. Envisioning a society in which we do not have to deal with the pains we feel today leans us to work towards such a society. Without imagination, society will soty any further development. We must imagine in order to grow our wisdom and intelligence. A child imagines a world beyond his crib. With his first steps, he gains knowledge of the world which allows him to start imagining a world beyond his home. Only then will he be able to venture out into the world.

     Knowledge, too, has great impact on society. It offers a tool that allows us to think beyond which was already discovered--such as a light-speed craft. Knowledge gives us an example to follow. When we lack the ability or resource to establish a fact, we can accept pre-established knowledge. But knowledge would have no use without imagination. Imagination is the source of our knowledge. Great thinkers and great ideas have sprouted from the seeds of imagination. Knowledge, even though it is a major force in our development, is but a branch on the tree grown from that seed, and does not have as much impact as imagination has and will have.



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